Canadian Mining Company Halts Plans in Argentina After Protests

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A Canadian mining company released a statement Monday declaring that they have halted plans to build a gold mine in the north-western province of La Rioja in response to local protests.

Canadian mining corporation Osisko, who had plans to mine gold from the Famatina mountain in the region, stated that it would not continue with the plan until it had local support.

The proposal was met with a series of protests, backed by environmental groups, including Green Peace. The protestors claim that mining Famatina mountain would need one million litres of water every day, and the use of cyanide to extract precious metals.

On 2nd January, locals set up a barricade on the road leading to the site, which was still in place as of yesterday. Last Thursday, protestors demanded that the governor of La Rioja, Luis Beder Herrera, give into their demands to stop the project or resign. On Friday, protestors marched to the Canadian embassy in Buenos Aires.

Osisko rejected claims that the Famatina project is a “mega-mining operation” and responded to the protestors. The company said it conducts environmentally responsible exploration, and that at this point, the project is merely hypothetical. In the press release, Osisko stated the project is currently “an exploration, not a mining project” and “there is no current plan, design or intent for any mining operations.”

The corporation also said if “there was no social license for exploration and development around the Famatina project area, no work would be conducted.”

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